Do you ever find yourself hungry near Piccadilly Circus?
If you appreciate shopping, love theatre-going or (god forbid) are hosting guest that insisted on dragging you to Leicester Square on a weekend, I’m going to go ahead and assume that yes, yes you do!
Of course, there’s plenty of not-so-great chain options nearby, but if you look around, there are also absolute gems to be found.
My latest discovery? The (rather grand) Balcon at Sofitel.
A stone’s throw away from Trafalgar Square, with windows overseeing Pall Mall, The Balcon is just the place to trade the business of London’s most tourist-y area for elegant surroundings and excellent French-British cuisine with a contemporary twist.
Starting, as all good (French) stories do, with bread & (salted) butter.
Followed by a not-so-classic yet absolutely excellent Steak tartare…
At The Balcon, the French classic comes adorned with artichoke crisps and drizzled in truffled egg yolk.
A brilliant update if you ask me.
For mains, the ‘Grill’ section seemed to be the most popular (but then again, can you blame anybody to ever fall for Rossini steak?), but having had a sneaky peak at the dessert menu, I decided to keep things a bit lighter…
That said, the Crispy skin sea bream with samphire, fricassé of salsify and chive beurre blanc was still very indulgent while allowing me to save some room for pudding.
Pudding that came in the form of a glorious Passion fruit and Sauternes creme brulée with mango sorbet.
Rich, creamy, and topped with an ice-thin layer of caramelised sugar it was everything a great brûlée should be.
And then some, thanks to the addition of sweet Sauterne wine and tangy exotic fruit bringing in some very welcome freshness.
Absolutely flan-tastic from the beginning to the end!
Food, service, atmosphere, decor; everything’s done the classic way to an excellent standard, making The Balcon perfect for a business meal, a romatic date… And also all those times when central London’s crowds get too difficult to handle on an empty stomach!